Now that I’m over 50, I can double as a lie detector. And you don’t even have to plug me in because I generate my own electricity.
Perhaps all midlife women develop the same sixth (or is it seventh?) sense – one that allows us to sniff out B.S. without even crinkling our nose (which is a boon for those who have had Botox and have been ordered by their doctors not to crinkle anything, not even an old newspaper.) There’s a reason for the saying, “I wasn’t born yesterday,” and when it comes to telling fact from fiction, I’m happy that it applies to me.
When I was in my twenties and thirties – and even into my early forties, truth be told – I believed things I shouldn’t have. I believed advertisers when they insisted I could spend less time cooking and cleaning if only I invested in their convection oven/food dehydrator/robotic vacuum cleaner. I believed bosses who promised promotions if only I’d fetch their dry cleaning and make their coffee. I even believed men when they said they just wanted to be friends. Even as they were trying to unhook my bra.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not jaded. I don’t believe the worst in people. But I do know when someone has an ulterior motive for not being totally truthful with me. So, in the interest of helping out the next generation or two, let me clear up some lies you may be tempted to believe:
· Whiter laundry will NOT make you happier (unless you have a very peculiar form of OCD, and if you do, therapy may be a better option). As someone whose grandmother’s linens had been bleached so many times the sheets would rip if you dreamed too vividly, let me say that there is such a thing as laundry that is too clean.
· The chance of that new miracle diet program actually helping you take off and keep off whatever weight you’ve been struggling with for the past 5, 10, or 40 years is slimmer than the chance of your dying by virgin sacrifice. What is more likely is that if you’re always focused on your saddlebags or poochy stomach (I have abs like a dashboard – soft and padded with a built-in airbag), you’re more likely to lose depth than weight.
· To that same end, no matter how many claims are made, nothing – not creams, lotions, gloves, pills, exercise programs, voodoo, or rolling down rocky hillsides – will reduce cellulite. Not even that cellulite iron they advertise on infomercials at 3 a.m. I don’t iron my clothes and now they expect me to iron my backside? That’s just nuts. If you want to be less bothered by cellulite, stop standing in front of the mirror looking for it.
· Thong undies are NOT comfortable. Sure, you can delude yourself into believing that something riding up down there is actually comfortable, but that doesn’t make it so. And for heaven’s sake, don’t wear a thong with jewelry that goes where the sun don’t shine – that’s just a waste of good bling. Not to mention that you won’t be able to sit down and will have walk around like an epileptic horse, kicking your legs spasmodically and snorting. We midlife women know that the only thing thong undies are really good for is staking up tomato plants or using as an emergency fan belt.
· Younger men who claim to be into older women usually define "older" as “out of college” and "into" as “I’m willing to sleep with them unless they have kids.” And once you find out that you have more in common with his mother than you do with him, it cools the passion faster than watching a monster truck rally on TV.
· If one anti-aging product claims to reduce fine lines by 60% in 30 days and another says it can provide a visible lift to sagging skin in just 10 uses, mixing them together will not make you look like your high school yearbook photo. Thank god. Most of these products count on the fact that by the time you feel the need for them you can no longer see well up close and will have to rely on your empathetic friends to confirm that you look “years younger” because they’ve forgotten your name and feel guilty about it.
I know it can be perplexing to try to tell if people are telling you the truth, but remember: when in doubt, ask your closest friend over 50. It’s almost as good as having a psychic friend.